The following appeared today in the Herald Sun.
Doctors stand firm over e-health costs
- Ben Packham
- From: Herald Sun
- February 16, 2010
A HI-tech health plan to deliver better treatment to patients could be derailed by a standoff between doctors and the Rudd Government.
The introduction of electronic patient records would be the biggest health reform in a generation, delivering an estimated $8 billion in savings over the next decade.
But the Government is refusing to guarantee compensation for doctors who will be expected to deliver the scheme on the ground.
The Australian Medical Association yesterday warned of a "bumpy ride" if doctors were expected to foot the bill.
"Where the doctor has to do stuff that is above and beyond what is necessary for their internal practice, there are various costs that need to be met," AMA president Andrew Pesce said.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners delivered a similar message last week, demanding "funding for general practices to support required software and business changes".
In a 2007 stoush with Government, doctors won an 18c-per-transaction sweetener to process Medicare rebates by Eftpos.
This is a serious problem for e-Health in Australia. Unless you have the doctors and their staff on board e-Health will go exactly no-where.
The Government and NEHTA need a serious rethink and fast.
They are just so stubborn and stupid. It defies belief that they are imagining the doctors will pick up the costs for a program that mostly benefits patients and the Government. It just won’t happen.